The Perfect Gift: Etched Snowflake Ornaments in Birch

November 20, 2013

DIY: Etched Snowflake Ornaments in Birch. So easy!   |   Design Mom

This project post is brought to you by Lowe’s Home Improvement. Create your perfect holiday setting with help from Lowe’s.

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Text and images by Amy Christie for Design Mom.

Birch snowflake ornaments! This is the 3rd (and last) project in our mini-series of cool things you can make with a wood burning/etching tool. Project 1 is here. Project 2 is here. Birch trees are just lovely for the holidays. Paired with a slip of ribbon or twine, an evergreen bough or two, and these little ornaments will instantly give your home a rustic, woodsy, holiday feel, and have you ready to greet the first snowfall with a big grin.

DIY: Etched Snowflake Ornaments in Birch. So easy!   |   Design Mom

The interior of the birch branch was soft so etching was very easy and the process was very quick.

DIY: Etched Snowflake Ornaments in Birch. So easy!   |   Design Mom

And these couldn’t be more affordable to make! You could cover your tree with them. Or hang them on doorknobs around the house. You could give a set to your niece who’s just settling into her first apartment. Use them as gift toppers, or give them as holiday party favors!

DIY: Etched Snowflake Ornaments in Birch. So easy!   |   Design Mom

Don’t worry if drawing snowflakes isn’t your thing — feel free to copy mine! The designs I made are totally easy and simple to mimic.

DIY: Etched Snowflake Ornaments in Birch. So easy!   |   Design Mom

Flex those fingers and let’s do this.

DIY: Etched Snowflake Ornaments in Birch. So easy!   |   Design Mom


etching tool
- birch branch
bow saw
drill and small drill bit
- ribbon or natural twine

DIY: Etched Snowflake Ornaments in Birch. So easy!   |   Design Mom

First thing to do is to cut the branch into slices, the width of which is your choice. Honestly, the bow saw made it through the branch really easily but if you aren’t up for sawing, look for a friend with a power tool and a willingness to assist you. Real birch does peel a little and the sawed edges were a bit rough so I rubbed them down with a rag towel to soften the edges.

DIY: Etched Snowflake Ornaments in Birch. So easy!   |   Design Mom

Use a pencil to draw the snowflakes on the cut pieces and then burn away.

DIY: Etched Snowflake Ornaments in Birch. So easy!   |   Design Mom

When the flakes are done, use the drill to make a hole for a ribbon.

DIY: Etched Snowflake Ornaments in Birch. So easy!   |   Design Mom

And finally, add the ribbon or twine to hang, and they are ready for the tree or gift topper. The red ribbon adds a very Christmas-y pop of color, but if you like a really natural tree, twine would keep the palette neutral.

DIY: Etched Snowflake Ornaments in Birch. So easy!   |   Design Mom

And that’s it. Easy as pie. Just be sure to slice up plenty of birch, because these are so fun to make, you won’t want to stop. Speaking of which, don’t stop with snowflakes! You could etch any design you like. Wouldn’t a monogram be fun?

Happy Making!



- Simple neighbor gifts.
- Classmate gifts.
- Creating a garland of snowflakes, or you could spell out Happy Holidays.
- Party favors for your holiday party.

P.S. — Like to make gifts? Check out our Perfect Gift series.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Birdy& Bambi November 20, 2013 at 10:12 am

Thanks for the inspiration and love from Germany!!!

Bambi and Birdy


2 delia November 20, 2013 at 10:17 am

ADORE. I adore this Amy. Great job!


3 Shannon { writer + editor } November 20, 2013 at 10:42 am

I love these, Amy! Is it just me, or do they have a lovely Scandinavian feel to them? (I’m only about 1/8 Swedish, but it takes over this time of year and I crave all things Nordic!)

Thanks for the great idea. We must have an etching tool around here somewhere….


4 Grace@ Sense and Simplicity November 20, 2013 at 11:29 am

i love them. They are so pretty. I’m going to have to get myself an engraving tool now with 3 such pretty crafts to do.


5 Lisa Taylor Whitley November 20, 2013 at 11:47 am

These are fantastic! Thank you!


6 Tamsin November 20, 2013 at 11:54 am

I love these, but have no idea where I’d get a birch branch from. Any ideas for people who don’t happen to live in a forest?


7 amelia November 20, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I want to know too. where do you get a birch branch from?


8 Lindsey November 21, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Yes me too! where would one get this magical birch branch?


9 Leah November 24, 2013 at 10:15 am

I’m also struggling to find birch branches. I don’t think the proper kind of birch is local to my area (Paper or Gray birches?). They’re mostly in Canada and the northern U.S. – Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the New England states. I’m thinking I might have to buy them online. Maybe Etsy?


10 Kim November 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm

awesome! love the ideas, Amy!


11 rachel swartley November 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm

So cute, Amy. These are my favorite of the three projects. :)


12 Ceci Bean November 20, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Love! After this week, I am fully convinced I need a wood etching tool!


13 Katrina November 20, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Just wondering if a soldering tool would do the job of the etching tool? :)


14 Kelly December 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm

I just tried this with a wood branch from a local park. Probably pine but I’m not sure. I used my soldering iron since I don’t have an etching tool. Not sure if it’s because the wood is harder than birch or if my soldering iron just isn’t up to the task but this didn’t work too well for me. I just couldn’t get the wood burning marks to be even. I felt like I had to press really really hard with the soldering iron which make the marks uneven and took way to much effort to get through one line. I’m going to go get a proper etching tool and try again. I’ll let you know how it goes.


15 Jillian In Italy November 20, 2013 at 11:42 pm

These are gorgeous. Such a great idea.


16 Nina November 21, 2013 at 11:31 am

I LOVE these etched wood ideas. So much fun and easy. I’ll have to get an etching tool. They’re pretty useful to have around anyway. I wonder if I can get my 4 year old to do it too!



17 Dawn November 21, 2013 at 11:36 am

Very cute and creative! I like this. Is the little ornament heavy? Would a Christmas Tree have a problem holding it as an ornament?


18 Quiana November 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm

My mom saved a similar ornament like this from my childhood – I think it was a craft project but seeing this post brought back the memory!


19 Jen November 22, 2013 at 10:21 am

So so lovely. Now to find a birch tree ;)


20 Felippe December 2, 2013 at 8:39 am

I’m going to make some of those to gift my friends!! It’s really original and it is so wonderfull, they will be amazed in christmas.


21 Grace December 18, 2013 at 2:44 am

Dear Gabrielle,

Thank you so much for this amazing idea. I love it! :)

I have not used my tolls for years, but this incredible idea was an inspiration for me. Thank you for that.

I also want to congratulate you being a mother of six. You are real hero! :)

Once again thank you! :)


22 marissa December 19, 2013 at 10:13 am

Hi! Apologies if it is mentioned anywhere, but am i able to purchase these from you in any way? thanks!


23 Katherine December 22, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I’m thinking of cutting a slice off the bottom of our Christmas tree (and then continuing the tradition each year!) to make an ornament. Question – do you think some sort of protectant/shellack needs to be painted on to the wood, or will these last without anything?

Thank you!


24 Emily December 20, 2014 at 11:20 am

I want to do the exact same thing, and I have the exact same question!
I am also wondering the best way to clean them. I had the slices cut when we got our tree, but they were cut with a chainsaw that got dirt all over them and now they’re pretty dirty looking!


25 Bobbi December 21, 2014 at 6:04 am

Perhaps try sanding the cut piece and use a matte polyurethane…


26 Barb February 6, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Why can’t I add this to facebook


27 Barb February 6, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I mean pinterest


28 Juile November 27, 2014 at 5:20 pm

My craft store Joann sells birch branches during the Chirstmas season!


29 Barbara November 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm

would my husband’s old wood burning kit work the same way?


30 Jamie at RenoCompare November 27, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Such a great idea and perfect for sharing!

Happy Holidays!


31 Susan September 14, 2016 at 8:47 pm

I love these but am wondering, as the wood discs dry do they split?


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